Marine Science Faculty Publications

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A packet of surface confined westward propagating waves apparently generated by barotropic instability of the surface currents was observed in the equatorial Atlantic during 1983. Initial wavenumber analyses and energetics calculations are presented. Local working by the horizontal Reynolds stress was large enough and at the correct time to account for the wave packet's existence. The amplitude of the waves was comparable to the mean currents implying that the waves are of primary importance in the momentum balance of the seasonally varying equatorial surface currents.

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Geophysical Research Letters, v. 11, issue 8, p. 753-756

Copyright 1984 by the American Geophysical Union.